BC of the Day #4: Adventures of Shikhandi

So, today’s BC is based on the current controversy of the PM being called “Shikhandi” by Prashant Bhushan. This comes after charges have been levelled against him by Team Anna. You can read about it here and here.

Original Cover: The Adventures of Suppandi from the Tinkle Digest

Extra Remarks: Suppandi ? Or Shikhandi ? Potato, Pateto ! 😀

BC of the Day #3: The places you’ll go ! Poonam Pandey does it finally !

Yes, Poonam Pandey has finally stripped after threatening (yes, that’s the right word) to do so since India won the World Cup.

Here’s the news article.

Toh, ek BC of the Day, Poonam Pandey ke liye, toh bantaa hai, boss !

‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.’

-Dr. Seuss

I do not have a problem with women wearing (or not wearing) whatever they want or doing whatever they want with their sexuality. But what Poonam Pandey did propagates the objectification of women, as if Bollywood wasn’t enough? No, I do not care about the ‘moral’ aspect of it. One has the right to live their lives they want to. But I just wish that girls wouldn’t become so desperate to make it big in this industry and resort to such tactics. What happened to women actually using their brains instead of their bodies? But wait, who cares ? We are all busy downloading that picture of Poonam Pandey.

P.S. This is ironic because it’s a children’s book.

BC of the Day #1 : BJP wears Prada ???

So, I’ve been experimenting with photoshop and learning bit by bit. I have put up those pics here on this blog, trying to relate books and current affairs. Now on wards I will regularly updating a Book Cover (Yes, that’s what I meant by BC !) along with the regular stuff on books.

Here’s Book Cover of the Day !

Coming Soon ! 😛

So tell me what you think !!

Also, share it if you like it !!

Original Book cover: The Devil wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

PUSSIES UNITE !

Why do we always fear the V- word? We call it by different names, depending on the country, culture, language,etc. But never by its name.

Vagina. There, I have said it.

Eve Ensler is right. That does make me feel good.

Today is Eve Ensler’s birthday. Playwright, performer, feminist, activist, all rolled into one and famous for having written ‘The Vagina Monologues’.

There have been certain controversies regarding the incident of the ‘good rape’ used by her in the play. Some feminists have lambasted her for the same with the argument that rape is rape, irrespective of the gender of the rapist. I agree, but in the context of the play, having read only the script, it seemed as it meant something else. Did the girl not realise that this was going to happen. I felt as if she was longing for it, this ‘good rape’ by a woman. And no, I am not justifying rape here.

The Vagina Monologues is all about setting aside our fears and breaking away from years of repression. Yes, it is loud. You may feel uncomfortable with the language but if it had a sober script, would it still remain so powerful? It is about time we talked about such stuff rather hiding behind silly names for the vagina and being ashamed of what essentially makes you a woman.

Some may argue that rape, trauma due to sexual harassment and other associated problems are in no way related to the shame we associate with that female organ. But no, it is. It all comes full circle here. At a young age, we are taught about how one should never talk about your vagina, menstruation, and other ‘delicate’ topics. Chastity, ‘purity’, suddenly, becomes important. In Biology classes in school, the lesson on sexual reproduction is skipped. Boys (and girls too), secretly look at the cross sectional diagram of a pregnant female body. It is natural for boys to do so for the female body is completely alien to theirs. But even girls do so, just because that part of them has been royally ignored by teachers and parents. And just because of the desire to avoid any ‘uncomfortable’ talk. At this age, you are made to start feeling guilty about what is only natural and they are made into taboos. Masturbation, being one of them. And what happens when a women is raped? She hides it. She’s ashamed of herself again. Forget about the other feelings of anger, hurt and pain. Shame destroys her.

To tell you the truth, reading The Vagina Monologues made me go into a power trip. It seemed as if all those pent up angry feelings suddenly wanted to come out. I felt like talking about all that was wrong with the world when it comes to the perception of female sexuality. Does it make a woman or rather the vagina, a victim? It probably does. But isn’t it the truth? The sorry truth?

Like this post, if you agree. Comment if you don’t. Comment even if you do. 😀
And don’t forget to share it. 😛

A Happy Birthday and a Farewell

“The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”
Penned by Mitch Albom, author of ‘Five people you meet in Heaven‘, ‘Tuesdays with Morrie‘ and other books, these lines hold true for everybody ! And it’s his birthday today !!! So a very Happy Birthday to Mitch Albom from BooksAndALotMore.

Also a farewell to House, who still lives on (if you know what I mean :-P) !

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Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

 

First, something about Rebecca: Rebecca is written by Daphne Du Maurier and was published first in 1938. It has been adapted several times for film, television and theatre. It is the story of the second Mrs. De Winter and the events (Amazon describes them as ‘chilling’) that took place as she started her married life. There is one very peculiar thing about Rebecca and that is the complete ignorance of the narrator’s name. Till the end, we do not know what she is called.

Having finished reading The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton just the day before I started reading Rebecca, I felt dismal and depressed. No, it’s an excellent book. That is not what made me feel dejected. It was the overall theme of the book and the tragic end. It seemed so real sometimes.

After that, Rebecca was a whiff of fresh air. It keeps you on the edge waiting for something to happen.

The book has nothing but Rebecca all over it. Rebecca is there everywhere. In Monte Carlo where the narrator meets Maxim (Max sounds so much more sexy, no?) de Winter the first time. You can feel her in the serpentine drive to Manderley. She’s there in the red rhodendrons at Manderley and the desk in the morning room. She haunts the west wing with her indomitable presence. Her presence in the heart of Mrs Danver and the rest of the staff is pitiful. So is her presence in Maxim’s thoughts. However, the most troublesome is her constant presence in the new Mrs. De Winter’s life. She is completely over shadowed by a dead woman.  Rebecca makes her insecure and downright useless. Mrs. De Winter (for lack of a name) imagines what could have been. She imagines Rebecca sitting at the same place and going about with her duties. She weaves little stories around her. And that makes her seem so much more real. She’s dead but still there somewhere, from the first page to the last.

I couldn’t help but like Rebecca (the character), even though she is supposed to be evil and all. At least she lived life on her own terms and in the end, it seems as if died also on her own terms. I pitied the nameless narrator because she’s a weak person in spite of being the ‘good’ one. The book does tend to justify murder, in the name of evil even though murder is murder. But what can you say to that when even religious books justify murder in the name of ‘vanquishing evil’.

I suppose I did understand the second Mrs. though, all her insecurities and helplessness in being constantly compared to Rebecca. I suppose most women have also been made to feel insecure. Either we are not the perfect size. Or we are not pretty enough. Sometimes, not fair enough. Or not ‘homely’ enough. We work so hard. Always striving for that elusive but perfect figure, acceptance from society and sometimes, the love of a man who probably doesn’t even deserve it all.

Here, she often says that the father and husband are essentially the same. Meaning that they are both supposed to look after you. I felt a little uncomfortable with this. But later as I read about Daphne Du Maurier on the Internet, I found out that it was rumoured that she has an incestuous relationship with her father.

Anyway, let’s not go there. Rebecca is a far more interesting character. You cannot help but love her. Well, that’s what she was like, with people. Sleeping around was how she used go on a power trip. There’s something quite tempting about somebody who breaks societal rules.

Somewhere, there’s both a Rebecca and the second Mrs De Winter in us. Yes, each and everyone. That is why you don’t feel any revulsion for any of the characters. After all, how can you hate yourself?

Anyway, get up, go now and read the book.

A Room Without Books

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

-Marcus Tullius Cicero

Yeah, yeah, I know, that’s probably one of the most worn-out quote ever used.

But I never quite thought realized the truthfulness of this statement till 2005 happened. That was when I left home for college. Before that, the book shelves in my room would be full of books, mostly bought by my Uncle. ‘Books’, which was always the answer I gave whenever he asked what gifts I wanted from abroad (read USA). The first books that I read were from the Nancy Drew series. Gradually, I moved on to others. Mostly, I relied on my school library for books were a luxury then. But there was a time when I would read wherever I went. In the school bus. Sitting on the swing. During lunch breaks when the boys in my class would play football with the fan regulator and the girls would sit and gossip (That’s stereotypical, yes, but that’s what happened). I used to read while walking from the bus stop to my house. My mother was always worried I wouldn’t meet with an accident. Books were a big part of my life in school.

And then college happened. I realised how pitiful a room looks without books in 2005 when I first entered the small room, where I was supposed to live as a paying guest for the next four years while I pursued my graduation degree. It was small, yes, and I was supposed to share it with another person. I wasn’t prepared for that, what with my six big bags containing all the stuff that I gathered over the years. There wasn’t much space for my clothes and the girly-accessories that I had. Where would I keep all my favourite books that I had brought with me?

Slowly, I realised that there wasn’t any room for my books. I was already doing this:

Source: ROFLIndia.com Facebook page

I had to make place for my dull engineering books (which I rarely opened). And so, in the next college break, I returned all my favourite books to their privileged places in the shelves in my room at home. The room where I lived looked so dead now. The colours were missing. It’s even more pathetic when other books titles like ‘Fluid Mechanics’ and ‘Strength of Materials’ stare hauntingly at you and you wish you had your copy of Ernest Hemingway’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ right beside you.  A Harry Potter book would also be more than enough. To overcome my sorrow, I started to scribble book quotes with a pencil on the walls. My attempts were met with stern warnings from the owner to kick me out.

Boy, how glad I was when I started working and there was enough room for my books in the apartment which my company had provided. I was living in a small town where there wasn’t a good library but what the heck, I was earning enough to keep on buying a lot of books every month. So grew the number of books in my room.

After almost two years, I decided to go back to college to get a management degree. And I resolved, I would make room for my books however small the room may be.

Yes, Cicero was so right. Rooms just don’t feel good without books. You would agree too, wouldn’t you?